They elected a youthful president, a self-styled defender of democratic principles who promised to bring the country up to 21st century standards. But many Mexicans suspected that an old-fashioned dinosaur heart was beating beneath Enrique Peña Nieto’s smartly tailored suits, an inheritance from his Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, whose top-down, quasi-authoritarian rule defined much of Mexico’s 20th century history.
On Sunday, after 100 days of living under Peña Nieto’s rule, the Mexican people have a better idea of the ways in which their 46-year-old president, and his vintage political party, plan to manage the future of the United States’ southern neighbor, a country rife with promise and peril. They are also discovering that Peña Nieto may be a kind of hybrid political creature, intent on effecting change while hewing to some of his party’s older ways.
De acuerdo con la Encuesta de Cultura Política de los Jóvenes 2012, los ciudadanos de entre 18 y 29 años confían “poco” en el Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) y en el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF), aunque la mayoría cree que ambas instituciones son imparciales y autónomas.
El estudio, elaborado por el Colegio de México para el Centro de Desarrollo Democrático del IFE, revela que los jóvenes se informaron sobre los candidatos presidenciales y sus campañas a través de los spots de televisión, y 30% vio los dos debates.
ADN Politico, Héctor Faya Rodríguez, 8/12/12
In this opinion piece Héctor Faya Rodríguez discusses how every 12 years Mexico and the United States hold simultaneous elections, which grants an opportunity to change and strengthen the countries relations. Faya Rodríguez mentions the Mexico Institute’s Sunnylands report which addressed which issues the countries should work on together on and singled out the three which he thinks are the most important. The first is to create a joint production and export platform so as to make economic exchanges between the two nations more efficient; the second is to encourage state-level governments to work together seriously, particularly with regards to strengthening the Mexican police and judiciary; the third is to create an ambitious private-public partnership to expand Mexican students access to U.S. universities.
InSight Crime, 6/11/12
In a recent piece for Nexos, security analyst Eduardo Guerrero Gutierrez pointed out that while criminal groups have long had an interest in building links with the different levels of government, recent developments have made them focus on elections all the more. One is that gangs today earn more money from extortion and from retail drug trafficking, which is known in Mexico as “narcomenudeo.” Unlike international drug trafficking, which can be carried out without much involvement from the authorities, the police are far more likely to be aware of extortion and retail drug sales. Government tolerance — or better still, collusion — is needed.
Another issue is the democratic opening in Mexico: unlike 20 years ago, when the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had ruled Mexico for six unbroken decades, today criminal groups have to deal with the three major parties contending for political posts. That means that profitable and long-standing relationships between a group and a political party in a given area can be rendered useless with a single election, which is a grave setback to a gang’s interests.
In this sense, meddling in elections is a logical policy for gangs, not unlike private-sector campaign donations to candidates promising a lower corporate tax rate.
The New York Times, 3/9/12
Could she run for mayor of Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos State and a haven for Mexico City weekenders? Was there any chance she, a woman in a city whose institutions have long been dominated by men, could win? Hadn’t her mother always told her that she belonged at home?
“There were many sleepless nights,” said Ms. Domínguez, 54, a university professor and part of a vanguard of women seeking to run for mayor in a country where machismo, corruption and an insider political culture have kept them out. “I always believed I could do more. I can construct, transform this society.”
The Atlantic, 9/14/11
If the polls are correct, I am flying in a helicopter with the next president of Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto, the governor of the State of Mexico since 2005, is on his way to inaugurate a new piece of road. As we thwap-thwapour way over dry cornfields split by a highway that stretches to the horizon, Peña Nieto puts a stick of gum in his mouth and slathers sunscreen on his face. “My priority is in creating infrastructure for investments to come in,” he says. In two days, he is scheduled to cut the ribbon of an overpass. “The voter needs to understand that I am looking after him.”
That must be why el góber (“the guv”), as Peña Nieto is known, has spent the past year inaugurating multiple public works each week. Members of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, which ruled Mexico for more than 70 years until 2000, are gathering this fall to decide rules for nominating the party’s presidential candidate. Campaigning won’t begin until April, and the election itself won’t be held until next July. But Peña Nieto’s momentum—like the return of the PRI to power—already seems unstoppable.
CNN México, 7/8/11
La cuenta regresiva para las elecciones presidenciales del 2012 ha iniciado, y aunque hay un claro favorito en
las encuestas de preferencia, ello no es garantía de triunfo.
Analistas coinciden en que pese a que el gobernador del Estado de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, es el gran favorito según diversos estudios de opinión, eso no implica un pase directo a la presidencia de México.
Después de 71 años de gobiernos priistas y dos periodos de gobierno encabezados por la derecha con el Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), el PRI recupera fuerza, ahora en condiciones competitivas y con un árbitro electoral autónomo, lo cual le da legitimidad.
Las elecciones de la semana pasada (en el Estado de México) demuestran que hay fuerza y unidad en el PRI, además de la debilidad del PAN y el PRD, lo cual favorece al gobernador Enrique Peña Nieto en 2012”, afirma el director del Instituto México del Woodrow Wilson Center, Andrew Selee.
Enrique Peña Nieto, special to the Financial Times, 1/6/2011
During the last four years Mexico has suffered a new and worrying wave of violence. True, the murder rate continues to be well below that of other nations in the region such as Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Nevertheless, after almost two decades of a constant decline in the number of homicides, this new increase in violence has not only outraged Mexicans and unsettled investors. It has also distracted attention from Mexico’s huge potential: we are the world’s 11th largest economy and, together with Russia, have the highest GDP per capita of the leading emerging market countries.
During the last two decades, we have made a peaceful and orderly transition to a democracy that has consolidated institutions and enshrined a pluralistic political system.
The biggest challenge that Mexico faces in 2011 and beyond, therefore, is to implement a National Strategy to Reduce Violence with one clear aim: to bring down the number of murders, kidnappings and extortions significantly in the next five years. The strategy should rest on four pillars.
El triunfo de los republicanos en las elecciones intermedias,en las que obtuvieron la mayoría de la Cámara de Repre-sentantes y fortalecieron su posición minoritaria en el Senado, augura tiempos difíciles para México. Analistasy ex funcionarios estadounidenses consultados, coincidieron afirmar que el ascenso al Poder Legislativo, particularmente delos elementos más radicales, pone en riesgo la agenda migratoria,las futuras asignaciones para la cooperación antinarcóticos yrevive el plan del muro fronterizo.
“Me preocupa cómo verá elnuevo Congreso a México. Los fondos para la ayuda antidrogasy la creencia de que hay una narcoinsurgencia en la frontera,generarán escepticismo. Existe el riesgo de que empiecen a decirque hay que construir la cerca más alta, más profunda y másrápido”, declaró un ex funcionario de la administración Bush que trató con Latinoamérica y quien pidió no ser nombrado.